UPDATE: Safety & Well-Being Committee

Facilitator: Sana Efird

Deputy Commissioner, Department of Education and Early Development

The Safety & Well-Being Committee has met four times working toward the goal of producing transformative recommendations to be presented to the State Board of Education in October. As with each Alaska’s Education Challenge Committee, the Safety & Well-Being Committee has broad representation across many stakeholders including parents, students, teachers, principals, superintendents, other State agencies, and legislators.

During these meetings, committee members have shared their personal and professional knowledge and have been provided current research and information regarding a number of topics related to students’ well-being. They have also dealt with defining “safety and well-being” with questions such as, Does school safety center around just the physical school or classroom space or does it include a much broader definition which encompasses students’ social and emotional space? They’ve grappled with tough discussions on how trauma and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) negatively affect students’ academic achievement and learned some of the grim statistics for Alaska’s students regarding trauma.

Through this process the committee has identified three areas to focus their efforts and recommendations:

  • Trauma Informed Practices
  • School Climate (Social and Emotional)
  • Student Health

As shared by Education Commissioner Michael Johnson at the kick-off meeting for Alaska’s Education Challenge, current data show we have much to do to improve our current public education system for all our students. However, the good news is that there are exciting, positive things happening in schools across Alaska that we can examine and expand to other schools.

This committee understands the positive difference their recommendations can make for Alaska’s students. I am honored to work with such a dedicated and committed group of Alaskans!

Our next meeting is September 27 from 1:00pm – 4:00pm. The public is always invited to listen in to the committee’s discussion. All meetings are conducted via teleconference and meeting audio is live streamed on akl.tv for the public.